The much-hyped 36-hour special session of Uttar Pradesh State assembly to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 has been reduced to BJP programme after the opposition parties decided to boycott it questioning its relevance when ruling party has sacrificed the teachings of Mahatama Gandhi for petty political gain.
“Why is it being held and what for? Does the BJP want to project itself as true follower of Gandhi ji through this session?” asked the Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu. “In fact, the BJP is using Gandhi ji’s name to enter into a record book. This is the only motive of the BJP government,” he added.
“Gandhi’s statues were vandalised in the state while temples of the Mahatma’s assassin were constructed and he was glorified. The BJP is now indulging in tokenism to cleanse its image,” Lallu pointed out.
The Uttar Pradesh Government is projecting this event as one of its kind. This session will continue uninterrupted from 11 am on Wednesday to 11 pm on Thursday where the members would discuss ways to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals of development in the state legislature. Earlier, the event was planned for 48 hours but after the boycott of opposition parties, the timing has been curtailed to 36 hours.
“Issues like poverty alleviation, gender inequality elimination, malnutrition, clean energy, universal healthcare and education, nutrition, drinking water, gender equality etc will be discussed,” Speaker, state Assembly, Hridaya Narain Dixit said adding that the session will also ensure that those legislators who never get a chance to put forth their views in the House are given enough time to speak about the problems of their respective constituencies and suggest ways for sustainable development.
Does this special session hold any relevance in the absence of opposition parties? What will the outcome of this session mean for the common man on the streets? Had the state government initiated projects to realise Gandhi’s dream of improving the standard of living of the most deprived, it would have proved that the government is genuinely committed to fulfilling Gandhi’s wishes.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said when the parts of the state are reeling under flood and people need Government’s support, we should go and help them instead of holding meetings and special sessions in the state assembly.
She asked the party workers to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a sombre manner and asked them to contribute to the relief of flood victims. “With the floods devastating the state and displacing thousands of families, it is not appropriate to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti in a pompous manner and hence I urge party leaders and workers to keep it a simple affair and instead contribute towards relief for flood victims,” she added.
The Samajwadi Party leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ram Govind Chaudhary said, “BJP is presenting a distorted view of all the values that Gandhiji stood for. Actions of the BJP government at the Centre and UP like spreading hate on caste and religious lines, religion-based polarisation and mob lynching etc go against the Gandhian philosophy.”
He said that the mindset of the BJP is exposed by the statement of a BJP leader who recently said that if the revolver (with which he killed Gandhi ji) of Nathuram Godse was auctioned, the response to it would determine who has more followers -Gandhi or Godse.
“The Special Session organised by the BJP-led government is nothing but tokenism. Leaders like Bhopal BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur openly glorified Godse and the BJP brass did nothing to punish her for the irresponsible and anti-national statement,’’ he added.